The trauma of an accident can trigger neuropathic pain and many of our clients receive this diagnosis, either in isolation or in company with another condition or conditions. But what exactly is neuropathic pain?
There are, broadly, two types of pain – nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain. Nociceptive pain is the pain that most of us are more familiar with. It is caused by actual damage to body tissues, such as that caused by a cut or a burn. The pain is triggered by damage or stimulus to nerve endings. Nociceptive pain is usually treated with more traditional painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Paracetamol, Morphine and Ibuprofen.
Conversely, neuropathic pain is caused when a problem develops with the nerves themselves and they start sending pain signals to the brain, often for no clear reason. This pain is frequently described as a stabbing pain or like an electric shock.
The traditional painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs usually produce little beneficial effect for neuropathic pain and sufferers are more commonly (and perhaps surprisingly) prescribed antidepressant medications such as Amitriptyline or Nortriptyline, or anticonvulsant medications such as Pregabalin or Gabapentin. However, it is important to realise that these medications are not prescribed for their antidepressant or anticonvulsant properties, but rather because of their ability to interfere with nerve signals to the brain.
The use of medication often goes hand in hand with psychological therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This is because depression and anxiety have a negative effect upon pain.
When a client has been diagnosed as suffering neuropathic pain, instructing the right medical experts is crucial to both their future wellbeing and their claim. Only by instructing consultants with current clinical experience of treating neuropathic pain, can we be certain that our clients will receive the very best possible advice and guidance on treatment and rehabilitation.
We are very fortunate in that regard to work with some of the country’s leading consultants in the treatment of neuropathic pain and other chronic pain conditions, which means that our clients have the best possible chance of accessing the treatment they desperately require.